• When to go to Rwanda

Our Guide on When to Visit Rwanda

Like most national parks and reserves in East Africa, the best time to visit Rwanda is the June to October period which is the dry season. This period lies in-between the rains so the conditions for activities like gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking, game drives and forest hikes are best. The period between December and March is also a good time to visit the country, although the festive period can often be very busy so make sure you plan well in advance. 

When it comes to gorilla tracking, the best time to visit the Volcanoes National Park is the June to October time, as well as the December to February period. The warm and dry weather offer good conditions for hiking. No matter what time of year you visit the Volcanoes National Park, we would always recommend you use a local porter. These are local people from nearby villages and will assist you on your walk through the forest – helping with steeper climbs, thicker vegetation or simply carrying your bags and camera equipment. This is particularly useful if the forest is wetter which can make it quite slippery.

The international airport in Kigali is where you will arrive and depart from. Kigali can be visited year round, with international flights arriving on a daily basis. The hotels in Kigali are open throughout the year and the weather is warm and pleasant year round.  

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Best time to go to Rwanda

Weather patterns do vary, this is just a guide based on historical patterns and data.


When to visit Rwanda

Landscape in the Lake region of Rwanda

Dry Peak Season

December to March

This period is another good opportunity to visit Rwanda, as it is after the short rains of November, and before the long rains arrive in April. Sometimes the rains arrive early in late March so we’d advise traveling early March if that is your desired month. Obviously the festive period – between Christmas and New Year in particular – is busy so if you would like to travel over this time, please book at least a year in advance. 

Landscape of the Virunga Mountain in Rwanda

Short Rainy Season

April to May

This is the rainy season in Rwanda, and across most of East Africa. These rains arrive in countries like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, and can often be intense downpours. While these are often sporadic and heavy downpours in the morning and late afternoon, the rains can last all day and will, inevitably, make the forests and national parks denser and thicker in vegetation. This makes the forest floors very slippery and difficult for trekking. The mountain gorillas also tend to move to higher ground during the rains so your gorilla hike may be longer than other times of the year.  

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Peak Season

June to October

This is regarded the best time of the year to visit Rwanda. This period offers warm and dry conditions, making it perfect for activities like gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking and game drives. This is also the busiest time of the year to visit Rwanda, especially the July and August months during school holidays. That said, there is a minimum age of 15 years for gorilla tracking. We would recommend booking at least 9 months (ideally a year) in advance for your Rwanda safari and gorilla trek, to ensure you get your desired accommodation. There is also a limited number of permits available each day so it’s definitely advisable to book in advance.  

Woman works at tea plantation, Rwanda


This is the period of shorter rains, which usually arrive mid November. These are shorter and less intense rains than the April- May rains, but they can still be heavy and sporadic downpours. That said, activities like gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking are still possible to do and, with the right clothing, it is still very much an enjoyable experience. We would highly recommend taking waterproof trousers, waterproof jackets and coverings for your personal bags and any camera equipment.

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